Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Carthage, Missouri

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Help Wanted

* Do you want to enhance your skills to become a better listener and communicator with others?

* Do you have a desire to serve others and to be an instrument of Christ’s love and compassion in helping others in need at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (GSLC)?

* Would you like to gather regularly, with fellow Christians, to grow in your faith by learning, training, and praying together while serving others?

* Do you have time in your busy schedule to help others?

There is an opportunity for you at GSLC and your help is needed. There is no pay for this position, but if you have time, and are led to help others, the rewards are a blessing to you and our Church. You will be an instrument of God and a conduit from Christ to witness their work of bringing solace and encouragement to others in need.  Our Lord does the curing work to help others, your role is to be present as a caregiver in a serving role.

Currently GSLC has 10 active Stephen Ministers who are currently filling the role described above by serving and caring for 10 individuals in our Christian community. The Stephen  Ministry was started a little less than 2 years ago with training and has been active in care giving a little less than a year.  What a blessing it is to have all available Stephen Ministers providing care. There are more and new caring needs now and will be in the future so our Church and Ministry will need to train and equip new Stephen Ministers to fulfill the growing care giving need.

On behalf of our Stephen Ministry Board at GSLC we request anyone interested in becoming a Stephen Minister now  or in the future to prayerfully consider this opportunity. We are hoping to start up a new class in early 2017. To learn more about this Ministry at GSLC contact one of the following board members for more information: Earl K., Janet C., Don L., Clarice O., Pastor Mackie, and Curt S.. In addition, to learn more about the worldwide Stephen Ministry outreach and organization there is information on the table in the narthex and info can be found on the web at stephenministries.org.

In closing, we give thanks and praise to our Lord for allowing, through his will, our Ministry to grow at GSLC. We also thank our Stephen Leaders, Ministers, Board members, and care receivers for their willingness to serve.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, NRSV).

 

Stephen Ministry

Update From Curt S.

Stephen Ministry (SM) is a way for our congregation to train and mobilize members to provide Christ-centered care and support to people experiencing many different kinds of life difficulties, including grief, divorce, terminal illness, unemployment, spiritual crisis, and other challenges. A trained Stephen Minister (SM) is the “Care Giver” for the person needing care who is the “Care Receiver”. As in all things, we rely on our Lord for assistance, who is the “Cure Giver” during the caring relationship.

In February, GSLC had the following individuals complete our first SM class: George M., Jim G., Jan G., Gretchen N., Melissa W., Sherri F., Sandy D., Lenora L., Clarice O and I.  A total of 8 GSLC Stephen    Ministers (care givers) are currently active to provide distinctively Christian care for people in need. As of this writing, 6 of the 8 Stephen Ministers have begun caring relationships with a Care Receiver, with the other 2 SMs nearing an assignment. The majority of the care receivers are GSLC members, although we have a few people outside our church membership. Our Lord is truly at work in the Stephen Ministry at GSLC!  Our SM team asks for your continued support and prayers that our Lord provide this Ministry with guidance, patience, and humble love as our care through Christ is ministered to others in need.

Since most of the trained SMs currently have caring relationships, and relationships tend to last months, sometimes a few years, it’s important to schedule a 2nd class this fall to have new SMs trained so GSLC can provide  additional care. Historical data from the SM program shows that a typical congregation may have up to 30% of a church’s membership or family experiencing a crisis in their lives.  We ask any of you that have the time and   desire to prayerfully consider becoming a trained SM. In the upcoming months the GSLC Board and SMs will host some informational meetings after Church about the SM program.  In addition, there is excellent information  available to bring home on the South wall in the narthex.  There is a fantastic website, www.stephenministries.org, with much more information including testimonials from Care Receivers and Pastors, who also benefit from having this resource available. A final resource is to discuss with any of the SMs, the Stephen Leaders Earl K. and Janet C., or Don L. who is a SM board member.  Also remember that if anyone has a need for a SM, this should be discussed with Pastor, Earl or Janet.

New Project Thank You

Karen L. and Judy G. have started a new project on behalf of Good Shepherd.  They are sewing fabric hearts for Freeman NICU.  The heart is worn against the mother’s skin so that the fabric might absorb the scent of the mother.  The heart is then placed with    the baby in the isolette so the mother is always with her child.    They would like to thank everyone who has donated  flannel for this project.  The congregation was so generous. They have enough fabric to last for quite awhile.  When the time comes that they are in need of more, they will let you know.  Thanks again for your generosity and also for your quick response!

Stephen Ministry

Some Thoughts from Pastor

We are beginning a great ministry that will deepen and expand the person-to-person care giving capacity of  our congregation.  It is called Stephen Ministry.

Stephen Ministry is a way for our congregation to train and mobilize members to provide Christ-centered care and support to people experiencing many different kinds of life difficulties, including grief, divorce, cancer, unemployment, spiritual crisis, and other challenges.

Our first step is to send Earl Kirn to be trained as a Stephen leader at a one-week Leader’s Training Course April 12th to the 18th in St. Louis.  He will return home with the knowledge and skills to begin and lead the ministry here, have the knowledge and skills to train members to serve as lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—in our congregation, match those Stephen Ministers with people in need of care, and provide ongoing support to our Stephen MinistryJanet C. has already received this training through another congregation and Kurt S., Brenda D. and Clarice O. have been trained as Stephen Ministers also through other congregations.

Here are some things you can do as we begin this ministry together:

  1. Give thanks to God for the life-transforming ministry ahead of us.
  2. Watch a couple of three-minute videos at www.stephenministries.org/stories to learn more about the difference this caring ministry makes in people’s lives.
  3. Give thanks to God for Earl, Janet, Kurt, Brenda and Clarice whom the Spirit has moved to become our first Stephen leaders.
  4. Pray for the Spirit to move others who will become Stephen Ministers.  In fact, prayerfully consider whether God might be calling you to this ministry.

In the days and weeks to come, you will be hearing much more about Stephen Ministry.  If you have any questions about any of the Stephen Ministry or how you could be involved, please see me, Earl or any of the Stephen Ministers.

As we begin this ministry, I know God will be at work through it.  May St. Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:20 capture our excitement, our hopes, and our dreams for Stephen Ministry:

Glory be to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.

 I am looking forward to seeing what God can do through Stephen Ministry for our congregation.

–Pastor